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The fourth edition of the India-Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Summit will be held on 18-19 July at the Intercontinental Hotel, Balaclava. Organised by the India Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Forum (IAEF), the event will bring together entrepreneurs, investors and government representatives from the African continent and the Greater Peninsula.

This year’s summit aims to foster collaboration, drive economic growth and promote sustainable development, says Baljinder Sharma, Founder of IAEF. “The event will feature interactive sessions, networking opportunities, panel discussions and expert workshops on the latest developments and opportunities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in both the regions of India and Africa,” he says. In fact, he emphasizes that the summit is a gateway for investors and businesspeople to establish valuable connections and partnerships.

According to Baljinder Sharma, despite deep historical, commercial and cultural ties, the entrepreneurial ecosystems between India and Africa are yet to be meaningfully connected. “Strengthening this connection presents a huge opportunity to harness the creative capacity of entrepreneurs from both regions to work together to solve common and pressing problems, while accelerating trade and investment,” he points out. In fact, he argues that this is the mission of the IAEF. Our interviewee points out that the 54 African states have a combined Gross Domestic Product of over US$3.2 trillion, almost equal to that of India. “The continent’s economic growth, estimated at 3.2% in 2023, is also home to six of the world’s fastest growing economies,” he argues.

On the other hand, he says, with 57,000 startups valued at $450 billion, India is the third largest entrepreneurial ecosystem in the world. “Furthermore, over 650 African startups have received a total funding of $5.2 billion in 2022 (a 1700% increase since 2015), taking the combined valuation of around 900 startups to around $50 billion,” the founder says. Baljinder Sharma believes that this gap presents an unprecedented opportunity for Indian and African entrepreneurs to partner in their co-creation and co-founding activities, providing bilateral knowledge, funding and market opportunities to their early-stage companies, thereby strengthening existing efforts to increase trade and development between the two economies. “Collaboration between startups and large entrepreneurial firms, on the other hand, can increase the reach and impact of innovation, according to Accenture Africa research, which increasingly correlates with higher economic performance at both the firm and economy-wide levels,” our interviewee points out. He believes that by leveraging the power of ecosystems and open innovation, African economies can accelerate progress, unlocking Africa’s abundance for all.

The three objectives of the India Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Forum

  • Building bridges between Indian and African entrepreneurs.
  • Organize meetings and discussion groups to encourage entrepreneurs from both continents to explore opportunities of mutual interest.
  • Help create joint ventures and business partnerships for access to capital and markets.

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